A theme gives your event a clear hook. A relevant theme is even better. We've seen lots of "Social Distancing" themed events do very well since the lockdown started.
Donating some of the proceeds to a charitable cause makes your event more appealing and motivates people to sign up. You can either donate part of the ticket price, or let runners add a donation on top of the ticket price.
Right now, people aren't planning far in advance. The top-performing Virtual Events start promoting themselves about 10 days before the event date. This creates urgency and makes your Virtual Event fresh and interesting.
What's more, we've seen far higher engagement from runners post-event when we've reduced the results submission window (the amount of time runners have to submit results after the run) to 48 hours.
Making your event a series maximizes the chance for people to sign up. You can earn repeat customers by engaging them and gradually increasing the challenge, creating a new theme, or supporting a new charity each week. By engaging with customers over an increased amount of time, you can build more trust and brand loyalty with your participant base.
Race swag is almost universally a hit with participants; themed race swag doubly so. Unique designs are also likely to be shared more widely on social media, drawing greater attention to your event or series. Mailing finishers post-race goodies, such as t-shirts and medals, is a sure way to attract new participants.
Some organizers we've worked with have chosen to make their events free. Counterintuitively, these events consistently took fewer sign-ups than the paying events. It seems that, not only are people happy to pay a small amount to take part in a Virtual Event, the power of price-signalling is such that people feel more confident entering a paying event.
The average price of the Virtual Events we work with in the US is about $35; in the UK it's a more modest £15.
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